Premium Flagship Smartphones Vs Mid-Range Value Performance Flagship

Today, I’m gonna talk about premium flagship smartphones and value performance mid-range flagship smartphones. What do I mean by value performance flagship? I would say that this trend actually started with the “OnePlus 6”. If you noticed, the pricing for the original OnePlus 6 was very aggressive and today also I would say it’s pretty aggressive if you look at it. If you look at the specs, it has cutting-edge specs. For example, if you look at OnePlus 6, It has a Snapdragon 845 with 6 or 8 gigs of RAM.

True flagships vs value performace flagships

Now, the things have changed quickly and we are seeing other brands jumping onto this bandwagon, for example, Honor 10 has their flagship chip “Kirin 970”, which is used in Huawei’s own premium flagship “Honor P20 Pro” which costs around $946 in India. Also, Zenphone 5Z has the flagship Snapdragon 845 chipset. So, we can see that they are competing with the flagships in term of processors

Also, there are true flagships or premium smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S9+ and other Samsung flagships, LG flagships, HTC flagships and we even have Google Pixel. But if you look at the pricing of the true flagships, they are almost double the price compared to these value performance flagships. Now the Zenfone has changed the equation even more, in sub Rs. 30,000, you are getting the flagship processors and other specs.

So, what is actually different? Let’s go over them and does it actually make sense to buy a true flagship smartphone over a value performance flagship?

I’ll break the difference in some points. So let’s get started.

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1. Battery

Moving towards the battery, here value performance flagship has a slight edge. They get slightly better battery life if we compare with true flagship smartphones, for example, S9 +, Pixel 2 XL and Honor P20 Pro.

This is due to the fact that these value performance flagship smartphones have FHD plus screen compared to QHD screen in true flagships and Yes, in terms of screen quality true flagship still has an edge. Most of the true flagships like S9 +, Pixel 2, S9 and Honor P20 Pro, all come with a QHD screen.

They(true flagship) have a higher resolution screen but trust me guys, in term of day to day usage, you will notice a difference a difference unless the font is very small. So, for 95% of the time, I don’t mind these FHD + screen

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Due to that FHD + display, value performance flagships get 1 hour – 1.5 hours of extra screen on time compared to many of the true flagship smartphones. Some of you might prefer QHD display over FHD + display but according to me FHD + display are quite good enough.

2. RAM and Storage

Here value based flagships have surpassed the true flagship smartphones. This is because of many of value-oriented smartphones like OneaPlus 6, you also have 8 gigs of RAM and 256 gigs of storage variant and even the Zenfone 5Z, they have a variant that comes with 8 gig of ram and 256 gigs of storage.

Whereas, true flagship smartphones apart from iPhone 10 are mostly sticking to about 6 gigs of RAM and 128 gigs or 64 gigs of storage. So, in terms of RAM and storage, Value performance smartphones are going ahead in the race.

You guys don’t need 8 gigs of RAM in 2018. 6 gigs of RAM is more then enough. Only go for these models if you need that extra storage. This is my very frank opinion.

3. Looks

In terms of looks, even these value performance flagships have very good looks. Now they are coming with glass backs and almost baseless displays. Earlier it was not the case but now even the OnePlus 6 has the glass back and a notch display.

Looks can be slightly subjective matter. It can differ from person to person. For example, this honor 10 looks very unique with this reflective colored back. So, in terms of looks, these value performance flagships have started looking amazing.

4. IP Ratings

This is the main thing that differs value performance flagships from true flagships. Most of the flagships including Samsung Galaxy S9, Google Pixel and most of the other true flagships are IP rated but that is not found in these value performance flagships. They don’t have any IP ratings. Most of them are splash proof but not water resistant.

Also, OnePlus 6 and Zenfone 5Z have glass-back but they didn’t support wireless charging but it’s not the case with the true flagships. They support official IP ratings and wireless charging. It is easy to implement these things on smartphones but we don’t have them in value performance smartphones.

5. Camera

The biggest difference between value performance flagships and true flagships is the camera. For example, Pixel 2XL and Samsung Galaxy S9 +, in terms of camera, these one have a superior camera and the difference is actually noticeable. There is not a huge difference but if you want the best camera, I would say, go with the True flagships. They produce some amazing pictures.

The main difference you will notice is in the low light photography. True flagships perform well in low light as compared to the value performance flagships but in daylight situations, you will not find a huge difference.

This is the one area where I would say that true flagship perform a lot better compared to value performance flagship smartphones.


The price difference between these value performance flagships and true flagships is almost double. For example, you can get Zenphone 5Z for Rs. 30,000 whereas a flagship like Samsung S9 + and others are above Rs. 60,000.

You can buy OnePus 6 from here.


To sum it up, the biggest difference I see between value performance flagships and true flagships is in terms of the camera performance. True flagships have those IP ratings and wireless charging features but it doesn’t make a huge difference for me as I’m not any fan of wireless charging.

At last, it comes to the price-point. True flagships cost almost double as compared to the value performance flagships.

Let me know in comments what do you prefer, value performance flagships or true flagships.

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